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      Hippocampal phosphorylated tau induced cognitive decline, dendritic spine loss and mitochondrial abnormalities in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

      1 , 2 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

      Human Molecular Genetics

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          <p id="d1602555e204">The purpose of our study was to understand the toxic effects of hippocampal phosphorylated tau in tau mice. Using rotarod and Morris water maze (MWM) tests, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence, Golgi-Cox staining and transmission electron microscopy, we assessed cognitive behavior, measured protein levels of mitochondrial dynamics, MAP2, total and phosphorylated tau, and quantified dendritic spines and mitochondrial number and length in 12-month-old tau mice with P301L mutation. Mitochondrial function was assessed by measuring the levels of H <sub>2</sub>O <sub>2</sub>, lipid peroxidation, cytochrome oxidase activity and mitochondrial ATP. MWM and rotarod tests revealed that hippocampal learning and memory and motor learning and coordination were impaired in tau mice relative to wild-type (WT) mice. Increased levels of mitochondrial fission proteins, Drp1 and Fis1 and decreased levels of mitochondrial fusion proteins, Mfn1, Mfn2 and Opa1 were found in 12-month-old tau mice relative to age-matched WT mice, indicating that the presence of abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in tau mice. Decreased levels of dendritic protein, MAP2 and increased levels of total and phosphorylated tau proteins were found in tau mice relative to WT mice. Mitochondrial function was defective. Golgi-Cox staining analysis revealed that dendritic spines are significantly reduced. Transmission electron microscopy revealed significantly increased mitochondrial numbers and reduced mitochondrial length in tau mice. These findings suggest that hippocampal accumulation of phosphorylated tau is responsible for abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and reducing dendritic protein MAP2 and dendritic spines and hippocampal based learning and memory impairments, and mitochondrial structural and functional changes in tau mice. Based on these observations, we propose that reduced hippocampal phosphorylated tau is an important therapeutic strategy for AD and other tauopathies. </p>

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          Most cited references 20

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          Amyloid-β protein oligomerization and the importance of tetramers and dodecamers in the aetiology of Alzheimer's disease.

          In recent years, small protein oligomers have been implicated in the aetiology of a number of important amyloid diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. As a consequence, research efforts are being directed away from traditional targets, such as amyloid plaques, and towards characterization of early oligomer states. Here we present a new analysis method, ion mobility coupled with mass spectrometry, for this challenging problem, which allows determination of in vitro oligomer distributions and the qualitative structure of each of the aggregates. We applied these methods to a number of the amyloid-β protein isoforms of Aβ40 and Aβ42 and showed that their oligomer-size distributions are very different. Our results are consistent with previous observations that Aβ40 and Aβ42 self-assemble via different pathways and provide a candidate in the Aβ42 dodecamer for the primary toxic species in Alzheimer's disease.
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            Age-dependent neurofibrillary tangle formation, neuron loss, and memory impairment in a mouse model of human tauopathy (P301L).

            Here, we describe the generation of a novel transgenic mouse model of human tauopathy. The rTg(tau(P301L))4510 mouse expresses the P301L mutation in tau (4R0N) associated with frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17. Transgene expression was driven by a forebrain-specific Ca(2+) calmodulin kinase II promoter system resulting in high levels of expression in the hippocampus and neocortex. Importantly, transgene expression in this model is induced via the tetracycline-operon responsive element and is suppressed after treatment with doxycycline. Continued transgene expression in rTg(tau(P301L))4510 mice results in age-dependent development of many salient characteristics of hereditary human dementia. From an early age, immunohistochemical studies demonstrated abnormal biochemical processing of tau and the presence of pathological conformation- and phosphorylation-dependent epitopes. Neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) pathology was first observed in the neocortex and progressed into the hippocampus and limbic structures with increasing age. Consistent with the formation of NFTs, immunoblots indicated an age-dependent transition of accumulating tau species from Sarkosyl soluble 55 kDa to insoluble hyperphosphorylated 64 kDa. Ultrastructural analysis revealed the presence of straight tau filaments. Furthermore, the effects of tau(P301L) expression on spatial reference memory were longitudinally tested using the Morris water maze. Compared with nontransgenic age-matched control littermates, rTg(tau(P301L))4510 mice developed significant cognitive impairments from 4 months of age. Memory deficits were accompanied by gross forebrain atrophy and a prominent loss of neurons, most strikingly in hippocampal subdivision CA1. Collectively, these data describe a novel transgenic mouse that closely mimics human tauopathy and may represent an important model for the future study of tau-related neurodegenerative disease.
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              Impaired mitochondrial biogenesis, defective axonal transport of mitochondria, abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and synaptic degeneration in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

              Increasing evidence suggests that the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) in synapses and synaptic mitochondria causes synaptic mitochondrial failure and synaptic degeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this study was to better understand the effects of Aβ in mitochondrial activity and synaptic alterations in neurons from a mouse model of AD. Using primary neurons from a well-characterized Aβ precursor protein transgenic (AβPP) mouse model (Tg2576 mouse line), for the first time, we studied mitochondrial activity, including axonal transport of mitochondria, mitochondrial dynamics, morphology and function. Further, we also studied the nature of Aβ-induced synaptic alterations, and cell death in primary neurons from Tg2576 mice, and we sought to determine whether the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SS31 could mitigate the effects of oligomeric Aβ. We found significantly decreased anterograde mitochondrial movement, increased mitochondrial fission and decreased fusion, abnormal mitochondrial and synaptic proteins and defective mitochondrial function in primary neurons from AβPP mice compared with wild-type (WT) neurons. Transmission electron microscopy revealed a large number of small mitochondria and structurally damaged mitochondria, with broken cristae in AβPP primary neurons. We also found an increased accumulation of oligomeric Aβ and increased apoptotic neuronal death in the primary neurons from the AβPP mice relative to the WT neurons. Our results revealed an accumulation of intraneuronal oligomeric Aβ, leading to mitochondrial and synaptic deficiencies, and ultimately causing neurodegeneration in AβPP cultures. However, we found that the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SS31 restored mitochondrial transport and synaptic viability, and decreased the percentage of defective mitochondria, indicating that SS31 protects mitochondria and synapses from Aβ toxicity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Human Molecular Genetics
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0964-6906
                1460-2083
                January 01 2018
                January 01 2018
                October 12 2017
                January 01 2018
                January 01 2018
                October 12 2017
                : 27
                : 1
                : 30-40
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Garrison Institute on Aging, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, 79430, USA
                [2 ]Neuroscience & Pharmacology Department, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
                [3 ]Cell Biology & Biochemistry Department, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
                [4 ]Neurology Department, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
                [5 ]Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
                Article
                10.1093/hmg/ddx381
                5886218
                29040533
                © 2017
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